Friday, November 26, 2010

WKTV . . . Holding Its Viewers Hostage

WKTV (actually its parent company) is now in a spat with Time Warner Cable.  According to its "Get the Facts" Webpage  . . .
Time Warner Cable’s carriage agreement for WKTV expires on December 15, 2010. After the agreement expires, it will be illegal for Time Warner Cable to continue carrying WKTV on its systems in and around Utica. To keep Time Warner Cable from dropping WKTV, we offered Time Warner Cable a fair deal to extend the agreement.  . . . .
Why has Time Warner Cable refused to pay fair value for WKTV?
We have no idea. Time Warner Cable pays fees for channels like ESPN, TNT, and Fox News. WKTV is – by far – the highest rated and most popular channel on Time Warner Cable’s system. It is only fair that Time Warner Cable pay a fee that recognizes the value of our programming.
WKTV wants to charge Time Warner Cable for the privilege of carrying its signal . . .

Of course, any charge by WKTV to Time Warner will eventually be reflected in your monthly Time Warner Bill which is already far too high owing to other Hostage Like situations created by YES and certain other cable networks.

WKTV intends to collect Money from You via Time Warner . . . for airtime that is already being paid for by advertisers to be free.

WKTV cannot compare itself to Fox or other cable networks.  They do not have over-the-air facilities and are used as enticements by Time Warner to get customers.  People are willing to pay for this variety.

The added value of getting WKTV over cable --  a more reliable signal and no antenna to deal with -- is being provided by Time Warner, Not WKTV.  If anything, WKTV should pay Time Warner for the additional reach that it provides.

People are losing their jobs and are cutting expenses.  Now is no time to shove additional costs down their throats, WKTV.


Dave said...

This is SOP among cable companies in America, although the battle is warming up between local broadcasters and cable execs as the latter begin to break out retransmission fees on monthly bills in order to squirm out from under viewer pricing complaints. Cable companies blame program content originators for walking away with the biggest piece of the revenue pie, but who would believe a cable company?
Local broadcasters are typically not very profitable as their revenue has always been highest from local ads, now decimated by the economy. (They receive peanuts from most of the national and network advertising.) The reason why local TV persists with evening news ... often with a truly horrible lack of talent and production value ... is because historically it was a big moneymaker via local ads.

Good (but not necessarily even-handed) article here:

Some of the comments below the story are even better.

Anonymous said...

Agree 100% - this is a way to extort money from us with Time Warner as the bill collector. I know if TW caves in and my cable bill goes up I'm dropping them.

Look at the situation, WKTV is a monopoly station and there are no other local networks. After ABC took off quite a few years ago they are the only game in town - they even run the CW newsfeed?! There is no pressure for quality programs or watchable news - and boy does it show. If they can't make it with those favorable conditions then the solution is that WKTV management is incompetent and needs to go - not me paying more for bad programming.

NO MORE CHARGES to my already too high cable bill!!

Anonymous said...

I think we should all go back to the days of roof antennas. HD programming is readily availabe using the above, & it's free once you pay for the antenna. Let's all tell TW & WKTV to shove it.